The government has money to fund disaster response following successive calamities that hit the country recently, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Monday.
In his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) budget stands at P3.62 billion after the DBM augmented it with P5 billion through the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.
“Ang total po na budget ng NDRRMF for the year ay nasa P16 billion at nagamit na po ‘yung iba diyan kaya nag-augment tayo,” Secretary Avisado told the President during a situation briefing on Typhoon Rolly.
Under the General Appropriations Act, several departments are given Quick Response Fund (QRF): Department of Agriculture, P1.5 billion; Department of Education, P2.1 billion; Department of Health, P600 million; Department of Public Works and Highways, P1 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development, P1.25 billion; and National Electrification Administration, P100 million.
The DBM replenishes its QRFs whenever these are depleted to ensure that those departments can adequately respond to disasters, Avisado said.
So far, no department has asked for additional money but Avisado said the DBM expects requests following the recent calamities hitting the country.
The DBM sees bigger requirements as a result of Typhoon Rolly and it plans to work with Congress on how to provide additional allocation especially as lawmakers deliberate on the 2021 national budget.
Many countries struggle financially this time, President Duterte said. He noted national governments have to make ends meet as societies need to build infrastructures like roads, bridges, classrooms and hire professionals such as teachers and many more.
Spending increases exponentially each year and although there are difficulties and shortcomings, President Duterte said his government is trying to correct them.
“Ang importante lang kasi dito, Wendel, na malaman ng tao na may pera para dito ngayon kunwari itong pangyayari ngayon — that there is money coming for them to use. Hindi sila maghirap na talagang stretching to the limit ‘yung not only the money but the agony ang pag-ano nila,” he said.
“So kung alam lang nila na may pera tapos nagastos ito nang tama at dumating ito sa mga beneficiaries, iyon lang naman ang kailangan nila. They know that there is money.” PND